Thursday, March 9, 2017

Hale via the Firewarden's Trail with Green Icy Water, 3/6/2017

On the website for Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), they give a lot of great information about two essential marches that will be happening: the Climate March and March for Science.  Please take some time out of your day to read about these marches and consider making plans to participate.  Also, please donate to UCS to help them be able to continue essential science research for a better future.  The Climate March (April 29th) is for people who are concerned about the environment and climate change, and the March for Science (April 22nd) is a celebration of science and its importance in our lives.  These marches are vital to show the world that we value nature and our environment, and that we will do our best to counteract the effects of climate change.  Thank you for your time.  Start marching! 

Mt. Hale
Firewarden's Trail
about 9 miles round-trip
about 2,400 feet of elevation gain

I came down with a bad cold a couple days before our hike, so by the time Monday the 6th rolled around, I was still recovering.  We were going to do the 23-mile Bonds Traverse, but instead we ended up doing 9-mile Mt. Hale so I would not get too worn out; doing the Bonds while having a cold would worsen my health.  Sage could have finished her Winter 48 this year, and I offered to stay home while she and Mom did the Bonds, but Sage was very generous and said she didn't mind waiting.

It was pretty cold today, and at first my face felt crisp.  I didn't put on a balaclava though, because I knew I would warm up after hiking for fifteen minutes or so.

We hiked on the herd path to the trail head.  The sun was rising through the trees...

The river was gorgeous and had intricate ice patterns.

Crossing the snow-covered bridge...

After brisk walking through the cold, we arrived at the trailhead for the Twins.  We continued up this trail for about a mile and then looked for the cut-off for the Firewarden's trail, an unofficial path that hikers often use to conveniently get to Mt. Hale.

The last time I saw ice formations like these, they looked more blue.  These were clearer.

There is the gorgeous river again...

After coming to a thin tree with a notch on it (marking the start of Firewarden's Trail), we veered to the left and hiked up this steeper path.

The trail was beautiful!

We were surrounded by birch trees that stood tall above the snow.

The trees touched the sky with their branches...

The path was well packed out. 

The sun burst through the branches and made a strong contrast between light and darkness on the snowy ground.

Mt. Washington looked at us through the trees.

Right at the top, the trees were close together.  I felt as if we were squeezed out onto the summit after being thoroughly brushed with tree limbs.

We were finally out in the open, and we could see the cairn below many zigzagging clouds in the sky.  The clouds had sunlight reflecting off their edges.

Sage walked to the summit with her hair catching the winter breeze.

Untouched snow without dents or obscurities:

That changed once my boots plunged into it.

The cairn...

Us three on Hale!

After hiking down, I noticed a sign someone had made marking the Firewarden's Trail entrance.

The following pictures show the wonderful verdant complexion of the icy water.

The herd path shortcut back to the car...

Here you can see even more spectacular views of the river...

The river reminded me of a frozen mint milkshake starting to thaw.

Back at the car!

I was still sniffing and sometimes my throat hurt, but I think this hike improved my health.

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